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The power of parasocial relationships in the age of loneliness

2 Girls 1 Podcast PARASOCIAL

The Daily Dot (Licensed)

How well do you really know your favorite online influencer?

When TV and radio brought the voices and images of public figures into our very homes, we began to feel kinship with people we’ve never actually met. But these one-sided “parasocial” relationships have kicked into overdrive with the advent of social media.

Now we subscribe to the daily minutia of YouTubers and Instagram influencers under the guise that this format is more honest—more “real”—than the scripted world of mass media. The bonds we feel across the internet can be powerful and life-changing, but occasionally, unhealthy.

This week on 2 Girls 1 Podcast, Alli and Jen (actors who perform weird internet stuff on stage) talk with Dr. Leslie Rasmussen, a professor of communications at Xavier University, who studies the intense psychological phenomenon of parasocial relationships at a time where we are more connected and disconnected than ever.

Listen to episode 75 of #2G1P right here:

2 Girls 1 Podcast is supported by listeners. A lot of time and resources go into research, booking, editing, and publishing this show. If you love internet culture as much as we love ’casting about it, consider a contribution of $1 or $2 per month to help offset our production costs. Become a patron of #2G1P and earn some cool perks while you’re at it:

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  • Email the show: [email protected]
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2 Girls 1 Podcast is hosted by Allison Goldberg and Jennifer Jamula, and is produced and edited by Matt Silverman in New York City. Production assistance is provided by The Podglomerate.

Matt Silverman

Matt Silverman

Matt Silverman is the director of video and producer of 2 Girls 1 Podcast at the Daily Dot. He has been making internet shows and viral videos for nearly a decade, and has directed top talent including John Oliver, Kevin Bacon, Kate McKinnon, Alton Brown, and the Sesame Street Muppets. Silverman is also the creator of FREE DAD VIDEOS, a comedy and music channel with his young children.